Today is free museum day, a day when many museums around the country open their doors to the public for free. The photo above is from Picard Bead’s Museum located in Carmel, CA. Picard has been a long time expert in African Trade Beads and I would just love to visit their museum someday. I do have some of their beads in my stash and am coveting others.
I was fortunate enough to visit the bead museum in Washington, DC before it closed its doors in 2008. I went with members of my local bead society on a bus trip to visit the museum and attend a bead show. When we got on the bus, it took us a while to help the driver understand that we were going to the “bead” museum and not the “bean” museum.
The Bead Society of Greater Washington has the bead timeline and other materials from the Bead Museum in their collections and I thank them for giving a new home to those treasures. I did get to see the bead timeline that shows the history and development of beads from the earliest cave woman days. Beads are so universal and a part of history in every culture.
There is a Bead Museum in Glendale, AZ and an African Bead Museum in Detroit, MI. There’s even one in Mali – what an exciting trip that would be. I don’t know if any of these museums are participating in free museum day. Even if they are not, I think it’s worth the cost of admission to keep these museums open.